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Victory in the US Congress: Reparations for the Chixoy Dam and the Military Ban

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There have been some important changes in U.S. economic and military aid to Guatemala recently.  GHRC and NISGUA have released a urgent action petition, asking Secretary of State John Kerry to uphold the ban on military aid.  I will p0st the petition shortly. Below is a wrap-up of the Chixoy dam reparations issue, as well as information on recent U.S. policy and military aid.

Guatemala Human Rights Commission

32 years ago today, 177 women and children were brutally murdered in Pokoxom during a series of state-ordered massacres which left a death toll of 444 Maya Achi people. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA expresses support for the survivors of the community of Rio Negro, who lived through brutal violence committed as part of the construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam.

On January 16th, after a protracted battle, the US Congress passed a consolidated appropriations bill for 2014. The bill includes various restrictions on funding from the US Department of State (DOS) to Guatemala’s armed forces — a clear, if partial, victory against impunity and militarization.

Reparations for the Chixoy Dam

Chixoy dam The Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam Reservoir. Photo by James Rodríguez.

The restriction that has received the most attention in Guatemalan news relates to reparations to 33 communities impacted by the construction of the Chixoy Dam in the early 1980s. Members…

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